As a voice seeker, or as an introductory voice actor, the voice over landscape can be overwhelming in its variety of manners to source work. Yet as overwhelming as they are, it is just as important to understand to make efficient sourcing decisions in this environment.
From the perspective of the customer, there are functionally three different shops to seek voice actors for their projects:
Production Houses: These are studios focused on delivering a product from beginning to end. These sources are the best to outreach to for customers that want a one stop shop for their voice over product, and often production houses include numerous services beyond simply recording your audio. These are the boutique equivalents of the voice over world.
Voice Actors Directly: The most straight forward example assuming the customer has a voice artist in mind that they like. As it is reasonable to expect that a seasoned voice artist will have their own studio, voice actors can be approached directly. Generally voice actors will only focus on delivering the voice element of customer content to a broadcast standard for the customer to then do with what they will. This sourcing is the mom and pop shop equivalents of the VO world.
VO Sourcing Platforms: These platforms are a reliable source to approach for customers that don't have a voice actor in mind in particular, don't necessarily care what it sounds like, and want to receive a large variety of voices for them to vet. These platforms are the window shopping equivalent of the VO world.
Each of these shops sources voice actors differently. Resulting in the customer receiving different options dependent on their business philosophy in how they interact with voice over talent.
Simply put: Production Houses leverage talent agencies to source work, and sometimes supplement this with internal rosters of talent that they like to keep on hand. VO Sourcing Platforms prioritize the talent they bring forward based on the paid membership level of that talent on the website. And Voice Actors prioritize sourcing themselves, after all, they were contacted to do the work! But... often will have working contacts in case they feel like they can't do the role being asked for.
The below diagram visually demonstrates the concepts written above.
So why is this important to understand? Well just like when we personally go shopping we have a preference and understanding towards how we are served as customers and what we are getting. Each of the shops referenced above has a purpose and a place in the industry, and various different selling points toward the customer. But the customer still needs to decide what shop best aligns with what they want to buy!
Does the customer have a robust voice over production that they want to create, but don't have the resources to put the work themselves? Production House is likely the best shop.
Is there a very specific sound they are looking for and they know what it sounds like? Sourcing a voice over actor directly is probably the best fit.
Do they just want to understand what's out there so they can figure out their vision better themselves? Than VO Sourcing Platforms are going to be the best way to go.
And further, from a voice actors perspective, understanding these concepts is key to knowing how to place yourself in the industry so you align with the wishes of the customer!
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